Alex Rodriguez will not be the starting third baseman for the New York Yankees on Opening Day. A-Rod had arthroscopic surgery on his hip a few days ago and is expected to be out until May.
That means the Yankees need to find someone to fill in for him while he's rehabbing.
Now, obviously, it isn't easy to fill such big shoes, but there has to be a guy that can give the team consistent production until Alex returns.
I believe that guy is Cody Ransom.
It's true, Ransom has little big league experience, but he showed a lot of potential last season when he was called up, and continues to do so this spring.
He was called up last season when the Yankees were dealing with a barrage of injuries, and while he spent most of the time coming off the bench and playing first base, he can definitely handle the hot corner.
However, what draws people to notice Ransom is his bat. He showed he's got some pop at the plate last season and has been showing that this spring, too.
Manager Joe Girardi hasn't made a definitive decision on who will get the starting job at third yet, as he's taking the next several weeks to look at his options.
Truth be told, he doesn't have many options. Besides Ransom, Angel Berroa is the utility infielder who could play third, but his bat isn't as good as Ransom's.
There has been talk of putting Teixeira at third and Swisher at first, or the other way around. I can't really see Teixeira playing third, and I don't know how well Swisher could handle it.
Sure, the Yankees could try to trade or sign an established third baseman, but there isn't a lot to choose from on that front either. Why spend money or give up a player when they have someone who is capable of doing the job?
So, let's give the Code-Man a shot.
Young guys often fail at the big league level because they don't get to play consistently.
The Yankees saw it with Shelley Duncan last year. He had moments of brilliance at the plate with monster home runs in clutch situations, but he was used to playing every day, and the lack of consistency affected his performance at the plate.
This is an opportunity for the Yankees to really see what Ransom has to offer. A-Rod is projected to be out until May, and they certainly don't want to rush him back and risk further injury.
They have about six weeks to observe Ransom on an everyday basis, and they should make the most of it.
No one is going to put up numbers like A-Rod, so everyone needs to stop trying to compare anyone else's production because it won't be there. No one is expecting Ransom to carry the offensive load either, which makes it even better for a young player trying to gain valuable experience.
Last year, when A-Rod was out those six weeks with his quad injury, the Yankees didn't have the offense they have this year. Posada was injured the same time as Rodriguez, and the Yankees definitely missed that extra power boost.
They also were stacked with lefties, which didn't work to their benefit.
This season, however, with the addition of Teixeira, Swisher, and Xavier Nady, there can be more consistent right-handed power, highlighted further by the ability of Teixeira and Swisher to hit from both sides of the plate.
Add Posada and Hideki Matsui into that mix, and there is no reason why the Yankees shouldn't be able to survive with Ransom at third.
The Yankees need to start trusting their young talent again, and I really believe if given the chance to play on a regular basis, Ransom will most definitely get the job done.
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